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11-06-2012, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Don't have much time to post, but first thoughts:

I see this round like this:

1. Frank Brimsek.
2. The rest

I had Georges Vezina my highest ranked after Brimsek on my initial list and I'm starting this round that way. It seems the majority of people who watched him play thought he (not Clint Benedict) was the best of his era. It's possible they were all biased since Benedict played such a "classless, cheating" flopping style that a modern observer would call "innovative," or maybe they underrate him because the last memory of Benedict was leaving Ottawa after being accused of blowing games because he was drunk. But it definitely needs to be noted that both during their careers and afterwards, Vezina was the one talked about by hockey people as the defining goalie of the era. Not to say that Benedict wasn't a superstar himself.

Charlie Gardiner was the defining goalie of the 30s, but I'm not sure his career was long enough to be added quite yet. It would be interesting to compare him to Bill Durnan, as another high-prime, short career goalie.

What makes Johnny Bower's NHL career better than Billy Smiths? How much does his dominance of the O6 AHL add to his legacy?

Ed Belfour has a stronger "on paper" record than Johnny Bower and I don't think his competition was weaker. Should he be ranked higher than Bower? Bower spent most of his career in Toronto in a platoon situation, which really hurt him in All Star voting. Was he good enough when he did play to where it doesn't matter?

Esposito was consistently very good for a long time, but I don't think he ever beat out Dryden or Parent for an All Star team when either was in their primes. His longerm consistency (at least in the regular season) beats out both quite easily though.
Charlie Gardiner. Had the potential to be the defining goaltender of the thirties but for a weak regular season record. His playoff record is incredible but short. On the other hand Normie Smith and Mike Karakas have similar playoff achievements.

Johnny Bower could play a regular season workload. Billy Smith had to be managed for the playoff run.

Tony Esposito showed consistency in his inconsistency. Same could be said about Belfour.

Still waiting for a pro Brimsek position. Sell Brimsek as the defining goalie of the 1940s.

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